Another Tiger is returning for 2016.
Defensive end Lewis Neal announced he’ll be back for his senior season on Thursday, telling the LSU faithful he hopes to help the team win a national championship in his final season in Baton Rouge, La.
“I want to first say how proud I am to be a LSU Tiger,” Neal wrote. “Everyday as a student athlete at LSU has helped me grow from a teen to a man. I value my education and the commitment to success I made to my family, teammates and the great fans at Louisiana State University.
“After evaluating and considering entering my name for the 2016 NFL Draft, I have decided to return to LSU for my senior year to continue my education and continue to do my best for LSU football to help compete and win a championship in 2016.”
Neal is the second LSU defensive lineman to announce he’ll return next season, along with Christian LaCouture. Center Ethan Pocic also decided to stay with the team in 2016, and reportedly, so will linebacker Kendell Beckwith.
In 12 starts in his junior campaign, Neal finished fourth on the team with 48 tackles, including 9.5 for loss. Neal also registered a team-leading eight sacks, six pass breakups, six passes defensed, eight quarterback hits and one forced fumble.
Six LSU underclassmen requested draft grades from the NFL College Advisory Committee, and of the six, four have announced they will return for 2016. Tackle Jerald Hawkins declared for the draft, and cornerback Tre’Davious White’s is yet to come to a publicized decision on his future.
Underclassmen have until Jan. 18 to declare.